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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

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Damn. Do you think fundamental inability to understand things is a prerequisite for working for the corporate press, or a symptom of it?

That magazine is thick to a degree that continues to shock me. I cannot set the bar low enough for them. I did an interview at OWS with a guy from Time (don't know if it got published, I can't read that shit even if I'm in it), and I started talking about the lack of representation in our representative democracy, then how concentrated wealth is exploiting the underclass through a rigged system. And the guy cuts me off and goes "Whoa, whoa, whoa, first you told me about your problems with government, now you're talking about the financial system, which is it?" And I really had to take a second to recover from the sheer inanity of the question. Not only did he not have any concept of the two being intertwined (I would've expected that much), but the very notion of someone having grievances with both government and the financial sector was totally foreign. It's really something else when you talk to these people face to face to see how disconnected they are from reality.

From Whitman's "Song of Myself":

32

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1900.html#top

And the guy cuts me off and goes "Whoa, whoa, whoa, first you told me about your problems with government, now you're talking about the financial system, which is it?"

Dan, remember Tom Lehrer's perfect statement that satire became obsolete the day Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize? Above is another example. What is satirical any more?

Did you recover from this interview with your mind intact?

Hee hee hee. Discuss.

Speaking of leaders, did people here see: A Chill Descends On Occupy Wall Street; "The Leaders of the allegedly Leaderless Movement"

Of course that's only one side of the story -- the author may have axes to grind -- but at any rate it points toward the kind of internal elitism/vanguardism that the movement at large needs to watch out for.

Interesting link, Gnome. I'd say that Jon Stewart (along with Stephen Colbert) is the patron saint of special liberals (the author's description of "a smug self-satisfaction that speaks for his audience’s sanctimonious self-confidence in being right" is right on the mark). And while Moore's got some shortcomings—mainly the fact that he's an enthusiastic backer of the left's worst enemies, but also the way his ego takes precedence over his activism—I do think his heart's in the right place. The point about "the hatred of Moore from the cocktail party and faculty lounge scene of the liberal establishment" is accurate, and it's just one case of the more general hatred that special liberals feel toward actual liberals.

Cloud, vigilance for that sort of thing is good and should be encouraged. But I've seen that piece circling around (and being picked up by right wing blogs desperate to discredit the movement), and it's complete and utter conspiratorial, unsubstantiated, easily refutable horseshit. A couple things:

1. Structure is probably the single most intellectual honest, open, and transparent working group at OWS. Anyone can join the group. They brought the Spokes Council (which has a long historical precedent in anarchist movements) before several GAs, and then held open teach-ins and workshops every day throughout the week for anyone not in structure to help with the proposal.

2. After the Spokes Council was passed through modified consensus at the GA (meaning a hell of a lot more people wanted this thing than just these 6 people), Structure VOLUNTARILY WITHOUT ANY EXTERNAL REQUEST OR CONCERN withdrew their consideration from the Spokes Council, as they talked and decided collectively that they were not an operations group as defined in the proposal. In other words, these 6 "shadow leaders" decided of their own free will to have absolutely NO SAY in a major decision making body at Liberty Square. They can't even consent on (let alone control) what to do with the half million dollars when it comes to operational/logistical expenditures.

I'm not even a member of Structure, but that hit piece really pissed me off as it's the sort of thing that drives factional wedges in radical movements all the time.

I can't think of a single manifestation of Michael Moore at any Occupy camp that hasn't been all about him, and hasn't involved his pimping the Democrats. I think any and all big-time celebrities who show up at an Occupy camp looking to glom onto the movement should be chased out with baseball bats and pipe wrenches. The Occupy Movement doesn't need pop stars and Hollywood big shots to validate its existence; the People, simply by being there, validate their movement.

I don't know if Moore has shown up here to infest Occupy DC yet, but I'd just love for him to, so I can ask him right to his face how he can support a party and an Administration which has refused to prosecute the Bush Mob, failed to close Guantanamo, propped up the banks and stock brokerages, attempted to dismantle Medicare and Social Security, supported Israeli brutality in Gaza, sent robot airplanes to bomb civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, sponsored military hit squads, and continued to escalate the police state.

That's a scene I'd really love to bust up -- with my camera rolling, of course. Goddamn' great waddling poseur.

I hadn't heard of Moore actually pimping Democrats at an Occupy appearance, and I wouldn't think it'd go over well if he did. Are you just talking about his message in general or do you have an example of him saying something along those lines?

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